Prosecutors in Massachusetts say they will drop the disorderly conduct charge against former Yale professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. ’73, who was arrested last week for, in his words, being “a black man in America.” The Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office and the Cambridge Police Department released the following statement a few minutes ago:

The City of Cambridge and the Cambridge Police Department have recommended to the Middlesex County District Attorney that the criminal charge against Professor Gates not proceed. Therefore, in the interests of justice, the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office has agreed to enter a nolle prosequi in this matter.

The City of Cambridge, the Cambridge Police Department, and Professor Gates acknowledge that the incident of July 16, 2009 was regrettable and unfortunate. This incident should not be viewed as one that demeans the character and reputation of Professor Gates or the character of the Cambridge Police Department. All parties agree that this is a just resolution to an unfortunate set of circumstances.

One can only hope that the Rev. Al Sharpton didn’t already book his Acela ticket to Boston.

(Photo: Cambridge Police Department, via The Harvard Crimson)